The Sandia Mountains are pink at dusk. The setting western sun turns them the color of watermelons, for which they were named by indigenous Indians thousands of years ago. Sandia’s peaks were thrust up in the last ten million years during the formation of the Rio Grande Rift and they form Albuquerque’s city limits on its east side. The rock core of this range consists of granite, approximately 1.5 billion years old.  The rock is covered, at lower altitudes with natural grasses, cactus and junipers, and, at higher elevations ,pine trees and wild oak. There are trails leading down to up and up to down both sides of the mountains and there have been fatalities here to careless visitors. Sandia Cave, an archeological site discovered in the 1930’s, shows evidence of human use from 9000 to 11,000 years ago although some say the area was salted with artifacts from somewhere else to make a false history seem to be true.Those  ancient peoples would never have been able to dream of a tram ride that would take them from their front doors to the mesas below where they hunted. We take the tram up today and Joan, visiting, waves at me from a platform where the tram docks at the top. When people visit Albuquerque, there are sights to see, things to do. Joan is a good traveler. Her feet are on the ground even if we are two miles into the sky.  
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